Bilic wrote in his weekly column that rumours of Payet’s future was intense, and reserved special praise for co-owner David Sullivan for doing what was necessary to get the extension done.
“We are all delighted that Dimitri Payet has signed a new long-term deal at the club,” Bilic wrote.
“There have been many rumours about his future, including a potential offer from China — but I have always said that we wanted to keep him and he wanted to stay. He is happy here and we are thrilled he wants to stay for a long time.”
“Credit, too, must go to co-chairman David Sullivan for doing what is necessary to keep Dimitri. It sends out a positive message to everyone — the fans, staff and squad — that we will keep our best players.”
Payet only joined West Ham from Marseille last summer, yet his wonderful performances at Upton Park have sparked plenty of rumours regarding a potential big-money move elsewhere.
The France international has scored six goals and added a further four assists in 18 Premier League matches thus far, performing well beyond initial expectations.
His inclusion in the starting eleven has coincided with the Hammers’ vast improvements from last season, and there now exists real hope of a potential top six finish come the end of the season.
In order to kick-on, it was imperative for West Ham to demonstrate their ambition by tying Payet down to a new-and-improved deal and sending a message to any potential suitor.
The 28-year-old can be the catalyst for the club to move on to the next level, and owners David Gold and David Sullivan deserve huge credit for the work they have put in.